When planning a Disneyland vacation, many people want to know when is the best time to go. The answer isn't simple, but the information and guidelines below, along with our season-by-season profiles may help you choose the time that's best for you.
Overall, Disneyland is the second-busiest theme park in the United States, with more than 15 million visitors per year. No matter when you go, you won't be alone. We say Disneyland for simplicity, but most everything applies to Disney California Adventure, too.
General ConsiderationsAny season has its pluses and minuses at Disneyland and the individual pages that follow details the pros and cons of going to Disneyland in Summer, Fall, Winter or Spring
These are a few general points to consider:
- The least busy times at Disneyland are:
- The first couple of weeks of December
- First Tuesday of September through mid-November (except the 3-day weekend of Columbus Day, the second Monday of October)
- First full week of January to President's Day, the 3-day weekend which includes the third Monday of February
- Tuesday after President's Day to mid March (when spring break starts)
- Mid April through third week of May
- Any school holiday or three-day weekend will be busy.
- Check the Disneyland weather page for month-by month rainfall, high and low temperatures and what to wear.
- Check our guide to Disneyland by month for more detailed information about crowds, weather and special events.
- No matter what time of year it is, your birthday is always a fun time to go to Disneyland. Find out all the fun ways you can celebrate.
- Fantasmic! is a seasonal event, and during the off-season it may only happen on weekends or not at all.
- You can't have it all. If you want longer hours, more things to do and more rides open, Disneyland will be busier.
- For any specific date, touringplans.com has a handy crowd predictor that can help you decide what days are best.
If You Can't Beat'Em, Join'Em
If your work schedule or kids' school holidays lock you into visiting Disneyland during one of its busy periods, these suggestions may help:
- Sundays are usually less busy than Saturdays, unless the following Monday is a holiday.
- Go midweek any time of year and the parks will be less crowded. However, parades and other special activities may happen less frequently (or not at all) and rides are more likely to be closed for maintenance.
- Read our tips for how to stay out of line to learn how to spend more time having fun and less time waiting. They're especially important when it's busy.
- Winter is our readers' favorite time to go to Disneyland, followed by spring and fall. They like summer the least.
The Bottom Line
In a nutshell, your choices for when to go to Disneyland boil down to this: Go when it's open longer, has the most entertainment going on, few rides closed for maintenance - but - most crowded, with longest waits and highest total costs. Or choose the opposite.
Here's our best advice. Be aware or the cons as well as the pros, but don't let them dictate when you go to Disneyland. If you want to plan your trip when a lot of things will be going on or to see the seasonal decorations, start looking for lodging as far in advance as you can to get better rates, then use these tips to save time in line.